Ottawa – Critics of the NDP’s foreign affairs are calling Canada’s travel restrictions on foreign nationals in the southern Africa region racist.

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“Why are these countries being punished instead of other countries? I feel racist,” Heather McPherson said on Granthshala’s Power Play on Monday. She was part of a panel along with Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, and conservative foreign affairs critic Michael Chong.

The federal government announced a ban preventing foreign nationals from traveling into Canada in the Southern Africa region in late November as a response to the Omicron version.

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The government amended those rules over the weekend to help Canadians stranded in South Africa.

Arif Virani responds to McPherson’s allegation, saying he “categorically rejects”[ed] That allegation.”

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“It is based on science and evidence. The virus was first identified in South Africa,” Virani said.

In the video at the top of this article, Virani and McPherson debate Canada’s travel restrictions.